The meaning of earned media exposure

COVID has certainly played havoc with the media landscape.

Magazine titles have been shut down, local radio and TV programs are now networked from other locations and newspapers have been shut down or moved their content online (often with a paywall).

It’s devastating on so many levels, the job losses, the loss of quality content and from a PR perspective the breadth of opportunities we could once offer our clients.

Which is why NOW more than ever, the relationships many PRs have formed with media contacts is really worth its weight in gold.

Public relations has often been positioned as the best way to secure “free exposure”, but as we all know, nothing in this life is FREE.

It’s earned. So what is earned media – from a PR perspective?

It’s networking with those media contacts, time spent with these professionals, finding out what content they want, what’s going to resonate with their readers /viewers /listeners. It’s constantly monitoring a multitude of media outlets to stay on top of trends for clients – potential and existing.

Earned media is staying in touch with those media contacts when we don’t have something relevant to say, but strengthening the relationship.

It’s equally important to stay in touch with those who have been made redundant to check on their wellbeing and to see what exciting possibilities they are pursuing and explore collaborative opportunities.

Earned media doesn’t happen overnight. It’s based on relationships and skillsets, both of which take time to develop.

However, we (the PR industry) have now been offered a brilliant chance to (yes, I’m going to use *that* word…) PIVOT from the perception of “free exposure”.

It’s an opportunity to almost “peacock” and show our multitude of colours and talents and really wow our customers.

It is the PR industry’s chance to put the value back into “earned media”.

Zoom take-aways part 2

In our next series of tips about Zoom sessions we look at three more essential areas when hosting meetings on Zoom.

We’re all missing the interaction of being in the office with our “work friends” and this first tip should help with this!

Tip one: If you’re having a team meeting, start with something fun. Don’t just start the meeting (unless it’s an urgent issue /crisis management meeting!)

Whatever you decide, remember, it doesn’t have to take long, something as quick and fun such as one round of Pictionary. Email a colleague with one or two pictures they have to draw and then get everyone else to try and guess.

Another quick and fun game is two truths and a lie, someone has to tell two things that have happened to them that are true and the third is a lie. Everyone has to guess which one is a lie!

It’s a great way to have colleagues connect and start with a bit of a laugh – which gets the endorphins going!

Tip two: Have an agenda, it’s so easy to get off-topic on Zoom, just as it is in face-to-face meetings. Make sure everyone who is required to speak, knows when they’re required to do so and how much time they have allocated to them.

Ensure the agenda is sent at least a few hours before the meeting is due to start (ideally the day before) so if there are any changes to be made, they can be done in time prior to the meeting starting.

If you find you’re going overtime, stop the meeting, check everyone’s schedules and if you can wrap it up quickly in the next 5 – 10 minutes.

Tip three: Note-taking is critical. Encourage people to take notes during meetings, but it’s just as important to ensure that someone is appointed at note-taker (or minute keeper for more official meetings).

If you’re leading the meeting, organise to check-in with the person taking the notes, and cover-off everything later the same day, so notes /important information can be sent to other team members ASAP.

If you’d like assistance with online events or coordinating large meetings online, please get in touch. Pursuit Communications can assist with online event management.

Anatomy of a media release

I was recently asked on Twitter how easy it was to write a media release.

It’s never 100% easy, no matter how many times you’ve written a media release.

Sure, it becomes EASIER, but it’s never “EASY”.

In today’s post I thought I’d give you a bit of an insight into some of the steps involved when writing a media release.

Now, assuming we’re working with a client for the first time, I like to do research beforehand on their topic area, and make sure my contacts in their “space” (i.e. education writers for an educational product) are up-to-date and aware of the work we’re doing!

So once initial research and contact has been made with media, it’s on to step one. The angle of the release, during a consult with the client I work on a strategy and what (collectively) we’d like to achieve from this release.

With this in mind, it’s back to the research desk, and it’s time to start writing with the help of any exisiting material from the client.

I then create a “skeleton release, send this to the client for their input.

Pending deadlines, this can sit with a client anywhere between 24-48 hours, but generally I don’t like to leave it any longer than this.

Once I have the first lot of feedback and inputs from the client, I then give the release some shape, make sure the language is easy to understand and remove any “industry talk” that has the potential to be lost in translation.

Then it’s back to the client for the final lot of inputs, again this may sit with them for another 24 hours this time, absolute maximum.

Once I give this version a final lick and polish and send it to the client for their sign off it’s onto media engagement time.

That, in summary, is the process of writing a media release.

If you’d like Pursuit Communications to assist with writing a media release for your business, contact me to arrange a time to meet over Zoom or FaceTime.

Laptop with Pursuit Communications website on screen

Zoom take-aways

Like all of us, I’ve been on my fair share of Zoom meetings, webinars and training sessions since the COVID pandemic hit.

I’ve contemplated writing this list for a while and I’ve narrowed my list to a top three takeaways if you’re presenting (or co-presenting) online.

  1. Have a back-up plan if your power fails /tech fails

Okay,  the catchphrase of 2020 might just be “you’re on mute” (or variations) of this! Once you’ve created your presentation, make sure you have a back-up plan if anything goes wrong at any point. You may want to have some notes in the margin if something fails at a particular point (especially if you have a guest presenter).

If there is a worst-case scenario, please appoint someone to communicate with attendees, or to take over. If you’re in the unfortunate position where your internet or power goes out, make sure your laptop and mobile have enough “juice” (power AND data) to get you through the presentation.

 

2. Send the presentation recording ASAP, and include a link for feedback

I can’t stress this enough, a recording of your presentation is GOLD. Not only for the attendees who chimed in for the first half (or second half) or perhaps missed it completely but for YOU!

When you have some time, watch it back, take notes, look for areas where can you improve.

Speaking of improvement, ask the attendees for their thoughts. This is GOLD. They’ll tell you exactly what they want and you can deliver it TO THEM! You’re meeting a need and you may even find that you have a new service /product offering or indeed a lead /new connection!

3. It’s not about YOU – it’s about the content you have to offer

I can’t stress this enough, please don’t spend any longer than 3-5 minutes MAX on introducing yourself. We get it, you’ve achieved a lot (and well done!) but we’re here to listen to your expertise and learn. There’s nothing worse than spending time you’ve allocated listening to someone chest-beating.

Again, this is where a presentation plan /notes will come in handy. Keep it short and sweet and let people connect with you in LinkedIn.

If you’d like to learn more tips like this, I’m hosting a LIVE Q&A on Instagram THIS THURSDAY.  I’d love to see you there!

Laptop with Pursuit Communications website on screen

My morning routine since the COVID-19 pandemic hit

If you’ve read any of my Instagram posts in the past or indeed blog posts here detailing what an “average” morning is like for me, you’ll see it’s pretty busy from the minute I open my eyes. (Not unlike anyone else really!!)

COVID has completely changed that and I thought I’d share how important time management has become since lock-down.

While I wish I woke up looking like this….

via GIPHY

After running a brush through my hair and all that “business” I’m up and out of bed anytime between 5.50am and 6.30am while listening to hourly news headlines, I make my bed and I organise my clothes (definitely not the corporate /smart casual attire of pre-COVID). Once I’m organised, I then head to the kitchen for breakfast with my phone /laptop or iPad in hand.

While eating breakfast I’ll review the capital city newspapers, it’s at a more leisurely pace now with the TV on in the background and monitor what the breakfast programs are reporting. I have more time to actually digest (no pun intended!) what’s being said and listening to the tone of the presenters.

Depending on what the morning holds, I’ll either jump into a couple of emails (I set a timer for 20 minutes) then exercise and listen to updated podcasts.

As I’m on my way to any meetings I’ll listen to other podcasts and a bit of morning radio (oh and there’ll definitely be a sing-a-long in there too!)

via GIPHY

 

HOT TIP: Want to know the songs getting me through my WFH work-day? Click here for the ultimate playlist.

It’s all about a good sense of time management and prioritising. Some mornings I’ll have to forgo the tv monitoring and others I’ll catch up on newspaper headlines later in the day.

So what can you take away from my morning routine? 

  1. Even in these times, a routine can really help. It’s definitely been of benefit for me when things weren’t very rosy.
  2. Create priorities that will help you throughout the day. For me, it’s knowing what’s going on in the world so I can do the very best for my clients.
  3. Music can really help – a big ballad, a pop-tune… Whatever your taste pop it on in the car or connect your earphones and immerse yourself in the music for a few minutes.

As an example, this morning I noticed a new campaign for a competitor of one of my clients. I’ve since set-up some alerts and will be monitoring this campaign on their behalf. What benefit will this be for my client? We’ll be able to watch (in almost real time) the effectiveness of their campaign.

Want to have a chat about how I can assist your business?

Send me an email to discuss the best options for your business.

What you can learn from COVID’s biggest advertisers

Earlier this month a report was released into the numbers relating to businesses and organisations that advertised during initial and lock-down stage of COVID-19.

It’s not surprising to read that Government campaigns topped ad spend growth, up 67% in April.

Given the need to inform the community through adverts such as this one, the Government definitely needed to be “seen” and visible across a variety of platforms.

What may surprise you is the number of automotive adverts.

Why?

At a time when we were asked to stay at home, only go out for essential services, why would this industry continue its advertising spend?

There are a number of reasons but one of the most important, is to remain top of mind with customers for the impending “recovery” stage.

The need to get to work safely, avoiding public transport and looking further ahead, the ability to travel within the state are just some of the reasons why the automotive industry was right to continue their advertising during COVID 19.

 

So, what can you learn from these advertisers?

  1. Staying front of mind is CRITICAL
  2. If you’re in a position of influence, educate and inform your community as soon as possible. Make this easy to understand and digest
  3. A well thought out campaign will return dividends in the long run. Advertising should be a part of the campaign, it should also include PR, social media and creative marketing solutions.

If you’d like to explore PR options for your business, contact us today for an obligation free chat.

 

 

 

 

Link to the report mentioned in the start of the blog post can be found here

Meet the “recovery business” head on

Time is of the essence when it comes to communications and your business. Especially if you haven’t already thought about what messaging needs to be communicated to the public about your offering.

No matter if you’re reopening your doors, or if you’re unable to reopen at this stage, keeping the community informed is CRITICAL for your business.

With the easing of restrictions in NSW relating to clubs, pubs and bars reopening with an increased (albeit capped) number and intra-state travel which have come into effect this week, your time is understandably focused on keeping your business afloat at the moment.

Pursuit Communications is ready to maximise the effectiveness of your communications.

Whether it’s copy for social media posts, writing and sending a media release or perhaps an internal document for employees, Pursuit Communications will be there to work with your business to stay in touch with those people vital to the success of your business.

 Why do you need to communicate a message? Here are three reasons;

  1. Stay top of mind with customers
  2. Without saying anything who will know what you’re doing?
  3. Realistically, you have to think beyond social media, think of targeting a variety of communications channels to reach a maximum number of people

To get started, simply click here or give me a call on 0407 780 710 to organise an obligation free chat /Zoom call /phone call!

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Think the closure of News Corp’s Papers local papers doesn’t affect you? Think again!

Last week News Corp announced dramatic changes to their local papers, after what has been called “a comprehensive review of its assets and observed consumers shifting to online news sources” .

Over 100 of News Corp’s regional and community titles will no longer produce print editions and instead move to digital-only formats. In addition, 14 titles will cease to exist.

You may be reading this post thinking, “yeah, well, I didn’t read the local “rag” anyway”…

Think about the bigger picture just for a minute.

These papers supported local journalists, local photographers, editors and in some instances welcomed high-school or university students for work-experience.

They were the institutions that shared the results of local sporting teams, listed local garage sales and classified listings.

Screen Shot 2020-06-01 at 1.18.40 pm

Collection of News Corp’s local papers (Image: Google)

It was also a FANTASTIC avenue for public relations consultants (like me) to generate exposure for clients on a local level. Having the support of the local community is critical to the success for businesses, especially in regional areas.

While a large portion of titles will move online, stories will likely be behind a paywall, while it’s not confirmed if a digital replica edition will be available on certain days of the week for any of these papers.

If your local paper is transitioning to a digital edition, I encourage you to continue to support those local journalists and provide them with your stories, (if you need assistance with this, we can help!) and achievements. They will, with your input keep our communities educated and informed.

 

 

What the media needs from you now!

The last few weeks I’ve been reaching out to a variety of media contacts across a variety of platforms.

Aside from checking-in with these very valuable associates, I’ve been asking what stories they’re currently working on and will be looking to create in the immediate future.

So, why am I sharing this with you?

Because NOW, more than ever is the time to have your story shared with the media.

Media exposure for your business builds credibility, brand awareness and can assist with sales.

So, to find out what the media are looking for now, I’ve created a free downloadable document.

To download your copy click here. 

Have a read, then get in touch and let us know how we can help your business communicate its message to our media contacts, who are waiting to help your business secure the coverage it deserves.

 

Service highlight: Getting ahead of the curve – What to do in post Coronavirus world… NOW?

As I’ve been progressing through the isolation period, one very important question has been front of mind for me.

What’s next?

It’s a question that can’t be answered on many fronts, however, there are some aspects that CAN be answered.

In the “Getting ahead of the curve” consulting service, there are many aspects that are considered for businesses interested in participating.

We look at:

*Previous activities carried out across advertising, marketing, public relations and social media

*Planned activities prior to COVID-19

*The new goals for your business in a “post-COVID-19” world

*Refining the best channels for communicating your message to get the maximum return on investment for your business

*How to best execute using these channels in plan format (an outline)

PLUS MORE!

But the question remains, why should I do this now when so much remains unknown?

The simple answer is because it’s VITAL to keep planning and forecasting.

Even if these plans have to change, a plan, in any case, is better than no plan at all.

If you’re interested in this one-hour session click here, choose COVID-19 services and the option will be the first one in the list, proceed to fill in your details and you’re booked in!